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  Email Marketing Tips Newsletter: 

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tracking Your Email Campaign

Whether you plan to send a single email or a coordinated set of email marketing messages that share a single idea and theme, known as a campaign, you will want to know how effective it is.

Of course, as always, you need to monitor your sender reputation, to identify the problems that exist, so you can fix them. Remember that sender reputation is the key element in whether or not your emails make it to the Inbox. If they don't reach the Inbox, they cannot possibly succeed!

The messages that do reach the Inbox can be tracked, to measure their effectiveness ... several different statistics are collected and evaluated to accomplish this.

Clicking Around
When a recipient of your email marketing message takes action, by clicking on a link in the email, this is called a click-through. Only unique clicks should be counted. In other words, whether a particular user clicks once or several times, it should only be considered a single unique visitor to the web site.

Measuring the click-through rate (CTR) is one of the primary methods of tracking your email marketing success. CTR is the number of unique click-throughs divided by the number of times the message was delivered, called the number of impressions. Just multiply by 100, to get CTR as a percentage. For example, if your email was delivered 100 times and one person clicked on a link in it, the CTR would be 1%.

Sometimes, however, CTR is defined as the number of clicks divided by the number of impressions, which results in a much higher CTR, since every additional click by the same user increases the CTR. You should always make sure you know how the CTR is being calculated.

According to Wikipedia, CTR is typically much less than one percent, though personalized and targeted messages tend to result in higher rates.

Another potential factor that can skew the results is counting every email sent, rather than just those that reach the Inbox.

Opening the Door
Another important item that is tracked is the open rate, which is the number of message recipients who opened your email. This is usually expressed as a percentage of the total number of emails sent. Unfortunately, however, the rate indicates the number of emails opened from the total amount sent, not just those that were delivered to the Inbox. Additionally, this key metric cannot be calculated on text emails, but only on HTML emails.
A related metric is the number of times a link was clicked, out of the total number of opened emails, typically represented as a percentage. This is called the click-to-open rate. The worth of this number is again diminished by the fact that only HTML emails are included and the fact that it uses the total number sent, not the number that reached the Inbox. To determine the click-to-open rate, divide the number of responses (clicks) by the number of emails opened and multiply by 100, to express the result as a percentage.

Gauging the Potential with a Test Campaign
If at all possible, email marketers should first send a test campaign to a list of email addresses not in the deployment database, to determine likely response rates and how well the different elements in the message perform. Then, adjustments can be made, to increase the likelihood of a successful campaign.

How Do We Measure Success? - Converting the Recipients
Whether the objective is to get more users to sign up for an email newsletter, download a white paper, or purchase a product on the web site, a conversion is tallied, when the user performs the desired action.

The conversion rate is the number of recipients that completed a desired action in an email message compared to the total list size, represented as a percentage. To determine the conversion rate, divide the number of recipients who completed the desired action by the number of emails sent and multiply by 100.

Conversion rate is the best measure of your email campaign's success.

Next time, we'll discuss the different ways the costs associated with an email marketing campaign are determined.

All Web Email gives you all the tools and help you need to send and track successful email campaigns!

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